NetBet Weekend Betting Blog:
One of the first rules to successful punting is “DO NOT get attached to any horses or back the team you support!” – I mean, I don’t think it’s written down anywhere, but words to that effect are a good guideline in my book. You all know what I mean by that, don’t you? Of course you do. You’ve all backed your favourite football team in an accumulator and need I say it…they were the odds-on shot that let you down. How could your beloved team let you down for all that money? You support them through thick and thin, yet they cannot muster more than a 0-0 draw away at a team who are struggling for survival in the league. Whilst this may not be about betting on football teams as such, the main moral of the story is that you cannot have favourite horses that you back blindly if you wish to make a profit from betting. He says now…
Looking at the racing for tomorrow, Saturday 21st January, it does appear very likely that Haydock is going to be the leading hope for top class racing as unfortunately, Ascot is looking likely to be beaten by the frost. Word also has it that Taunton may be under threat too. Despite that, I am going to remain utterly optimistic that racing goes ahead in both Berkshire and Somerset, as well as up North.
The first horse I am selecting is in the 14:20 at Taunton (fingers crossed) and it is the Nicky Henderson trained horse, Argante. I have a strong feeling that this horse will end up off a higher mark than his current rating of 123 that he was given after an emphatic victory last time out at Fakenham, when taking a maiden hurdle by seven lengths. On his season reappearance at Ascot in November, he wasn’t too far behind Thomas Campbell (Rated 137) and his chances in that race we’re not helped by suffering interference on the bend and he was duly minded after that by his jockey. Naturally, you could rule out a number of horses in the field (due to not being good enough or having the conditions to suit) and I can only see two main dangers to Argante. These are the top weight Dell’ Arca and also the improving Verni, for Philip Hobbs. They both have to prove themselves though and on that basis that Argante is improving as a hurdler, I am very keen to side with him tomorrow.
The three novice hurdle races on the card look competitive and the handicap chase looks a good race between Pearls Legend and Romain De Senam, so I really do hope the meeting goes ahead at Taunton.
In Berkshire, Un De Sceaux is back in action in the Clarence House Chase in a bid to win back-to-back runnings of this race. This doesn’t looking the most competitive renewal and he should take all of the beating here, unless Ar Mad makes it a real test for him and puts his jumping to the sword from the start. Certainly not a race I would bet in.
A race I would bet in, is the 14:25, the Keltbray Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle ran over two miles and three furlongs. Ante-post favourite, Wait For Me still has to prove he regains all of his old ability that he had showed in his first season when finishing three lengths third in the Champion Bumper behind Moon Racer. His two runs this season have not filled me with the confidence that he is back to his best and I think he priced on potential, again. A horse who beat him at Kempton over the festive period, Drumcliff is also too short in the market considering he hasn’t won a race since his debut win in a bumper at Taunton on December 2015. He was unlucky in running last time and I do agree he was, but the race wasn’t as competitive as his engagement tomorrow and I can see him falling short again.
My selection in the race is Wolf of Windlesham, who was still travelling well when in the lead when he took a crashing fall 3 out in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham in November. He has since ran well on the AW and ran a good race in a tacky ground Ladbroke Hurdle last month, despite weakening after two out. He will be primed for a good run here and the booking of Davy Russell only fills me with more confidence. I would suggest backing him each way at double figure odds. The Gary Moore trained Krugermac will also run well in this off a feather weight and I wouldn’t discourage anyone have a couple of pounds each way at a fancy price. This horse is highly touted at home and ran well on his seasonal debut a couple of weeks ago. That would have put him spot-on for this, although rumours are spreading that his big target is the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on February 11th.
In the 15:35 at Ascot, I really think Irish Saint will go very close and the 6/1 available currently is well worth taking as an each way bet. This horse finished fourth in a JLT Chase a couple of years ago behind Vautour and has improved as chaser since. His seasonal reappearance was at Cheltenham in November over hurdles which he clearly needed and from second viewing, he actually needed the run back over fences at Ascot last time too. Those runs would have put him spot on for this £43,000 prize. Kylemore Lough is a consistent animal who may finding giving this much weight away too difficult and the enigmatic Regal Encore is never a horse who you can back with confidence and one can only feel he has had his annual win, last time out.
Up at Haydock Park, The Peter Marsh Chase is one of the highlights on a fantastic afternoon of racing which hosts trials for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle too. In the marathon staying chase at 15:15, I strongly fancy Bishops Road to do the business and I cannot believe there is 16/1 available. I was at Sundown last season when he absolutely routed a competitive field then he went onto Haydock when he was triumphant in the Grand National Trial. He was put up 24 lbs for those two performances and his final two runs of the season both ended up with the jockey on the floor before too long and earning some letters in his form. He ran well first time up this season in the Eider (beaten just 9l) off a rating of 154 and did go well in the Welsh National when a few mistakes cost him any momentum. Kerry Lee is adamant to put a line through than run and he has now been dropped to a mark of 148. With deep ground likely and a thorough test of stamina required, I really see him going well.
Remember what i’d said about not backing horses you like or football teams you follow? Well, I am going to break that very rule, i’ve set myself only a matter of words ago. One of my favourite horses is Sausalito Sunrise, and he runs in the Peter Marsh at Haydock, along with my other fancy Bishops Road. Sausalito Sunrise is a very good horse who is just a bit soft and I have previously written about him as a horse to follow as there is definitely a staying chase in him. Whilst I think Bishops Road is the bet, I cannot let Sausalito go unbacked in what I think is a race run to suit. Surely this is a recipe for disaster…especially if i add in my beloved Man Utd and my good friends at Brentford FC to help win some more funds for the betting pot. I’ll never learn…